MPIP: Melanoma Patients Information Page

The MPIP is the oldest and largest community of people affected by melanoma hosted through the Melanoma Research Foundation. It is designed to provide support and information to caregivers, patients, family and friends. Once you have been touched by melanoma—either as a patient or as a family member or friend of a patient—you become part of a community. It is not a community anyone joins willingly. But if you must be part of this group, you will find no better place to find the tools you need in your journey with this cancer, and the friends who can make that journey more bearable.

The information on the bulletin board is open and accessible to everyone. To add a new topic or to post a reply, you must be a registered user. Please note that you will be able to post both topics and replies anonymously even though you are logged in. All posts must abide by MRF posting policies.

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Please pray for my husband. Was scheduled to start IL2 tomorrow. Was admitted to hospital yesterday and not strong enough for treatment tomorrow. Multiple tumors in neck and various places, but larger ones near stomach and in small intestine have been causing severe pain last month or so and had lost almost 30 lbs since christmas which he didn't need to lose. Admitted due to not being able to eat or drink due to tumors pushing on those organs...

Meeting with surgeon and our melanoma team tomorrow. HaS had 2 small bowel resections in last 6 mos...not sure how many more he can take.

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I did two infusions of yervoy 10mg. Third is on the 15th. This week my skin seems to be more itchy but there is no rash. Mostly arms, legs, and on the palms of my hands. When you guys had the yervoy itch did you have a rash or just itchy skin. It's very tolerable now. Greg

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DZnDef's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 8:35pm
Replies by: AshleyS, Gene_S

My brother was just diagnosed Stage IV melanoma and is meeting with an oncologist Friday.  I thought he might appreciate seeing a roll call.  Please let us know when you were diagnosed at stage IV and how you're doing now if you don't mind.

I was Stage IV July 2012 but misdiagnosed until my recurrence January 2014.  Still have active mets but also still here and feeling good.  Anyone else?



Maggie - Stage IV (lung mets unknown primary) since July 2012

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Ok this may sound stupid but I'm only stage 1a from a spot on the top of my foot. The primary was about and inch or so from my big toe. I've been having pain in the joint and it feels as if the second toe joint is hurting also. It hurts to walk sometimes and at night. I really feel that my mobility is limited in the big toe joint. This has been going on for over two months. What's the chances of such a low stage going to the foot bones?  I should say also the spot on my foot came up from nothing to melanoma in less then 10 months. I thinking maybe I should get an X-ray but I don't want to look paranoid. 

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Scooby123's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 6:24pm
Replies by: MoiraM, Scooby123, melj, Bubbles

Hi all,

I would like to know if now the combo treatment is available in some country's , if you have had ippi would you not get the combo ipp - nivolumab . We have not approved combo in UK as yet I think September I believe correct me anyone if I am wrong . But was wondering now that combinding treatments is better would you not get it if you had it on its owne. Plus you would have had to respond to the treatment as well otherwise they would be no point giving you together if you have not responded to one. I am not sure how it all works but would love some feedback from anyone who does

love and prayers to all us fighting and our caregivers


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Anonymous's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 7:22pm
Replies by: Anonymous, Janner

I had my tumor from my back removed in october. Do they keep this tumor or just throw it out. They never tested to see if I was Braf and I was wondering if I still could have a second opinion on pathology if the tumor was kept in a lab. I know it's late but I'm starting to doubt the pathology. It was positive for melanoma but was not really that detailed a report.

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jae p's picture
Replies 10
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 3:41pm
Replies by: jennunicorn, WithinMySkin, Anonymous, Janner, gregor913

Hello to all! Well, this month marks my 2 year anniversary of being diagnosed with stage 2A melanoma at age 24 (I'm 26 now) -- 1.2 mm, mitotic rate of 2, and ulcerated.  

Lately I've been having a whole lot of anxiety over the whole "ulcerated" thing, now that I'm approaching two years on.  I don't know a whole lot about prognostic factors, but what I do know of ulceration haunts me.  

In the past month, I've floated the idea of getting a CT scan just to check up on the state of my health by the melanoma specialist and the oncological surgeon (I'm with Dr Pavlick at NYU Langone).  However, despite my having been stage 2A, they're both incredibly confident about NOT putting me through any unnecessary scans and have told me as such.  I've asked them both twice, and they've told me this twice.  They both want me to continue seeing them, but all they do is palpate my lymph nodes and do blood tests every six months.  

I love their assuredness, but is this lax approach the general protocol for my stage?  I keep feeling like I ought to be proactive and be sure I'm doing everything I can to "catch" anything early, but maybe I'm misguided in thinking of scans as the way to go. I have no idea!  My prognosis just seems so dire to me lately that I feel like I should be doing... something.

Thanks for letting me blow off some steam, and if anyone has any insight into any of this... I am all ears. Thank you to all in this community for being a wealth of knowledge and compassion to each other; it's very heartening to read.

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 6
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 12:44pm
Replies by: Anonymous, Janner, btcedarr

New small (~3mm) mole noticed, a week later removed. Looked like a black sharpie dot. When zoomed into with a camera edges were not smooth, scattered dots of pigment surrounded the mark. 

Biopsy Diagnosis: Mild dermal inflammation and pigment incontinence; see note. Note: Sections of the bisected shave biopsy show a mildly acanthotic epidermis with basal layer pigmentation. The center of the biopsy shows a focus of hemorrhagic scale. There are scattered melanophages in the superficial dermis. Clinical correlation is recommended.


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melj's picture
Replies 5
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 4:22pm
Replies by: Anonymous, melj, Bennickliz, mms7angels1

Does anyone have any experience of how bone mets present , particularly in the long bones of the arm ?

I've been having pain in my upper arm for two months, usually associated with movement. Thought it was a triceps strain brought on by swimming. But despite rest, ice, ibuprofen and physio the pain and discomfort persist. Deep tissue massage eases the pain but it returns within a day. Wondering if it could be a bone met as it's about 3 inches from a primary where I had a local recurrence excised last October. I'm stage 4a just started Keytruda.

Any thoughts ?

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Anonymous's picture
Replies 2
Last reply 2/5/2016 - 11:13pm
Replies by: Rita and Charles, Anonymous

My husband has been dealing with debilitating pain and swelling get in his ankles. The doctors say it's a reaction to the meds and to take benadryl. Can anyone tell me what is actually happening and if there is anything else he can do. He hates benadryl.


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jamieth29's picture
Replies 20
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 6:05pm

Went in today for scan results and brain mri showed 3 spots. Two 3mm and one 4mm. The doctor wants to wait two weeks and do another mri to make sure they are mets as he said he's not convinced they are. They were not present on mri in June said there is no edema for whatever that's worth. I have a appointment with radiologist Monday. The body pet/ct was clear. The doctor wants me to go ahead and start nivo next week. He said i shouldn't do anything until we repeat scan. Don't know what else they could me it was pretty cut and dried they didn't show in June and are now present so...advice? Could hardly be around kids when i got home so scared that the kids will have to watch this play out.

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jc0709's picture
Replies 1
Last reply 2/5/2016 - 12:51pm
Replies by: casagrayson

Hi everyone,

Firstly, sending my very best wishes to everyone here who is fighting their own battle.

I'm Jen. I have been browsing this forum for a couple of weeks but feel now I would like to introduce myself in the hopes of finding support from others going through similar. Sadly, we have a lot of history of cancer in our family but no skin cancer as yet, so it helps to be amongst others who can relate.

I had an excisional biopsy yesterday on my 4th left toe, for a suspicious mole to be removed. I have known for years about a small freckle-like mark in this place, but in recent months I took a closer look and my husband agreed it needed checking out. It has increased in size, raised from the skin, and changed in appearance quite significantly. Not sure about everyone else, but between my toes is certainly not a place I look at much!!

It is now 6-7mm, a mixture of colours, with a dark network when you look closely, pinky areas, dots, lines. Very different compared to my other freckles and moles (I have quite a lot).

I saw my GP in December who did an urgent referral, saw Dermatologist on Christmas eve, then plastic surgeon in Jan, followed by surgery yesterday. All the people I've seen so far haven't said much about it, just that it has concerning features and needs to be excised. Makes me worry more that it can only be one thing due to the lack of discussion. Surgeon said up to two weeks for results, and I am booked for a follow up appointment on 24th Feb.

I am in a lot of pain today, but it's nothing compared to the worry and anxiousness I am feeling.

I'm not expecting a great amount back, as I'm sure its quite an unusual place to have a mole removed from! Just wondered if anyone may be experiencing similar, and how you all cope with waiting for results?

Kind regards



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jennunicorn's picture
Replies 20
Last reply 2/7/2016 - 3:12pm

Does anyone have a great sunscreen they use every day that doesn't feel like they are wearing sunscreen? It feels like a neverending search for the right one. I have sport ones for when I am more active and don't care if I feel like I am wearing sunscreen. And I have face moisturizer with sunscreen in it that I like. But, finding that one for the whole body for just regular every day use seems difficult. I also hate the smell of most sunscreens. My derm recommended EltaMD sunscreens.. they are kind of expensive, not too bad, but before I go buying some, if anyone has tried it, do you like it for every day?

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Azcaddyman's picture
Replies 4
Last reply 2/5/2016 - 9:56am
Replies by: Anonymous, Azcaddyman, Janner, gregor913

OK here's a quick summary of what's going on


I went to my dermatologist to have a large lesion on my neck looked at. Although I was convinced it was melanoma, he insisted I was wrong. He suspected it was a bcc. He did a small shave biopsy. The pathology report showed ssm at least .60mm deep. No mitosis, nothing unusual except regressive changes at the base of the biopsy. I was referred to a surgical oncologist. Because we didn't know the actual depth I was scheduled for a slnb and wle. I went in for my procedure about 3 weeks ago. The lymph node biopsy failed. They couldn't get the radioactive tracer to drain into the lymph system. My surgeon did remove some tissue that showed some pickup of the dye but wasn't sure it was even a lymph node. 

Last week I went in for a post op follow up. The pathology report from the wle/slnb showed that the tissue was not a lymph node. Although it was cancer free. The "residual" melanoma was .8mm deep. No mitosis. Stage 1a. I was told at that point that since my tumor wasn't deep enough no further testing would take place. 

Now OK I understand how this works, you can't add the first biopsy to the final excision to determine depth. So this means my true staging info was lost because my dermatologist didn't do the right thing. However, is this important? At first they wanted to do a slnb but when that failed, is it OK to just say I'm OK? Would I be crazy to ask for an ultrasound study of my lymph nodes? My Dr assures me that the chances of spread are so low that there's no need to be concerned. So should I just relax? I get my stitches out next week. That will probably be my last appointment and after that I'm on my own. 

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karima49's picture
Replies 3
Last reply 2/5/2016 - 9:59am
Replies by: Anonymous, marta010, Scooby123

My mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 in December 2015. She has been on the Mekinist/Tefnlar combo for about a month now. She has had a major problem with nausea and vomitting. She went to DR 2/1/16. She is now to cut dosage in half. Once in morning and once at night instead of twice in morning and twice at night. It seems to be doing a little better but she is still just so weak. She can only do something for about 10 minutes and then she needs to rest. Is anyone else experiencing this and is there anything helping you? She has lost 23 within about 2 months. They want her to eat more to see if that helps get some strength back. Please help with any suggestions. Thank you. 

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